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Underhand dealings, poor shipping environment forced banks to shun shippers

Real factors that crumbled the growth of indigenous maritime businesses and ship ownership have been revealed by the United Nations.

Latest report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) 2019, revealed that why banks dropped funding ship acquisition by indigenous shippers was due to underhand dealings leading to their loss of funds to bad loans in previous deals.

Though fact checks disclosed that several banks are ready to fund vessel acquisition, but the fraudulent way of using the loans to buy old refurbished ships at far less than the amount collected from the banks and subsequently abandoning such ships on the grounds that they were unserviceable, forced banks to close their door against local shippers.

Additional checks showed that currently, some Nigerian banks (names with held) are still nursing their wounds from loans given to shippers which are usually denominated in dollars.

On other observations made by the UN body, the report said “Despite Federal Government’s efforts in the fight against maritime environmental degradation and hazards, Nigeria is ranked among countries with the lowest scores on ships that have poor environmental indicators.

The UNCTD 2019 Report added that “Nigeria scored 0.38 per cent on vessels fitted with ballast water treatment systems, indicating further that “Nigeria recorded zero per cent on vessels fitted with scrubbers and on vessels compliant with tier-three regulations to reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions correspondingly.

“This is far below the record of Liberia which, according to the report, recorded 19.51 per cent on vessels fitted with ballast water treatment systems, 4.44 per cent on vessels fitted with scrubbers, and 0.34 per cent on vessels compliant with tier-three regulations to reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions correspondingly.

Continuing, the report added that “Other African maritime economies like Togo and Sierra Leone recorded zero per cent on all the understudied indications, except Egypt which recorded 0.26 per cent on vessels fitted with ballast water treatment systems and zero per cent in others within the period under review.